ately expressed their grave concern to Mr. Molotov at receiving this most
disquieting information after so long delay and asked him to obtain a fall
explanation concerning the arrest of these Polish leaders, a complete list
of names and news of their present whereabouts.
" The Foreign Secretary has reported this most serious development to
His Majesty's Government and has informed Mr. Molotov that meanwhile
he cannot continue discussions on the Polish issue.*'
The American Government ended its Statement with the words :—
" Further discussions must await a reply."
This break-down in the discussions of the Polish problem fitted in well
with the Soviet's plans, which were, it seemed., nothing less than an
endeavour to settle the whole question without the participation of
the other two Powers. A fortnight later, on May 19, Marshal Stalin.,
through The Times* correspondent, explained his attitude, stating that
the arrest of the Polish political leaders was in no way connected with the
formation of a Polish Provisional Government. " These gentlemen/'
he wrote, " were arrested on the basis of the law for safe-guarding the
rear of the Red Army from diversionists . . . The arrest was made by the
Soviet military authorities in accordance with the agreement which was
concluded between the Pol'sh Provisional Government and the Soviet
military command ... It was not true/' Marshal Stalin continued, " that
they had been invited for the purpose of negotiations with the Soviet
authorities." He maintained that the Lublin Committee must be
recognised as the kernel of the future Polish Government. This, he
stated, would be analogous with the position in Jugoslavia, and stipulated
that this future Government must not carry out a policy of a cordon
sanitaire directed against the Soviet Union.
Stalin's technique was simple—he merely repeated his story over and
over again until the war-weary Anglo-Saxon Governments were ready to
convince themselves that this arrest of men who were under safe conduct
was not a crime after all.
It was the Russians* final assault on the Allies in order to destroy the
last vestiges of Poland's independence—to eliminate the Polish Govern-
ment and the Polish Army abroad as factors in the international arena.
That the * Lublin Committee * was unable to cope with its new authority
was immaterial to Moscow, since the utter chaos then existing in Poland
helped in the process of grinding down any resistance among the popula-
tion. The existence of Poland abroad, however, was still a considerable
menace. Over one million Poles, deportees and prisoners-of-war were
located in Western Germany now under Anglo-American occupation,
apart from the number in France and Britain, Ninety-nine per cent,
of those in Germany, as the Allies found to their astonishment—the
information was reported from, an official source—did not wish to go
back to their country now under Russian rule. And when the Stalags
began to empty and foreign nationals were leaving Germany, the Poles